As I was driving back home from work this week, I turned on a local station (102.1 The Edge) and listened to one of my favorite ‘jockeys’ Fearless Fred. He brought up an interesting and important subject, Social Media Disorder. People were responding to his news via text and phone; a woman caught my attention when she called in crying saying “I didn’t leave my house for a week binge watching Netflix” – She needed to be ‘in the know’ for fear of missing out.
My heartstrings pulled at her; I knew what she meant. I’ve been in a similar situation, but it never got that dire. As I look around at our society today, I notice a lot more people being ‘married’ to their devices: updates are shared numerous times a day, that perfect Instagram photo takes hours to capture, and our social interactions with one another have become limited.
For several years I’ve been trying to unhinge myself from my devices. This started a day before my wedding when I shut off my phone completely when I went on my 10-day honeymoon with my husband and more recently whenever I notice that I jump from three Apps for over an hour. I couldn’t believe how hard it was to stay away from my devices, but, over time I realized that it was healthy to do this. I would get stressed out when I couldn’t check my notifications – why? What’s so important that I need to be validated online?
Think you might be affected? some of the most common symptoms of social media disorder are:
- Interrupting conversations to check your social media accounts
- Lying to others about how much time you spend on social media
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Trying to stop or reduce your use of social media more than once before without being successful
- Loss of interest in other activities
- Neglecting work or school to comment on Facebook or Twitter accounts
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you are not able to access social media
- Spending over six hours per day on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
- An overwhelming need to share things with others on social media sites
- Having your phone with you 24 hours a day to check your social media sites
- Using social media more often than you planned
- Severe nervousness or anxiety when you are not able to check your notifications
- Negative impacts on your personal or professional life due to social media usage
If you feel that you’re obsessed or addicted to Social Media, you’re not alone. Social Media Disorder affects over 30% of the population and I’m sure that number gets higher each day. If you are having trouble going out to enjoy your true life, not your social media life, please reach out. We’ll find someone who can help